Okay some of us fell for the hype and though I did my homework before I bought the beast... I got duped. I ordered it in Feb 09. My m17x was almost a month and a half late being shipped to me. No notifications of backorders and customer service couldn't tell me why. I finally got a supervisor on the phone and he told me it was two issues: a backorder and the fact the laptop wouldn't pass benchmark due to overheating. He said they had to upgrade the motherboard to the next years line so that it would pass.
I finally got it and was quite pleased. If I played graphics intensive games it would heat up and sometimes shutdown but that required me to really put it to the test. This January 10 it was heating up and shutting down frequently and by February the two cards had pretty much committed gpu-i-cide and reached temps of 107C. Didn't know my laptop could cook my dinner too.
So I was lucky enough that it was still under warranty and after hours and hours on tech support calls, I sent the two 9800gtx cards back to alienware. Didn't hear anything, still nothing 3weeks later so I called.
Again no one can tell me the problem with me not receiving my cards back. Finally I get to the bottom of it, no more nvidia 9800gtx cards. reason. overheating issues.
They send me two ati 3870's without notification. I called them back with a complaint that they are a lesser card than what I had and the computer is only a year old. They send me a single nvidia quadro 3600. Well it's in the mail, be here someday soon I hope. Now that card is of equal value to what I had and will run some 3D apps that I use, however as far as games go... my hopes are dashed. I was told on the nvidia hardware forums that the reason it won't run games is that the drivers are written for CAD and now that the quadro 3800 is out they won't be accomodating the 3600 owners for such things. And I thought people that worked with 3D apps actually were working on games. My mistake.
I have argued this point with tech support and they have nicely said they cya'ed because of the value of the 3600 card and they're sorry but that is the best they can do. It would seem my motherboard was NOT the newer version and only supports MXM 2 not the newer cards. I was duped in the beginning and they sent me a machine knowing it would eventually fry.
I offered to buy newer cards from them and was told they'd give me an exchange but they won't fit my mobo.
I cried and cried. (Hey I'm a chick and I couldn't smack anyone over the phone)
When i crack the beast open again to put in the 3600 card, can I tell for sure what form factor I'm working with? Can I tell whether the first person was right and I have the newer mobo (MXM 3), and now techsupport is just ignorant of this. Or whether I truly was lied to and have the MXM 2.
Finally is there an external that can even come close to performing like the two 9800gtx's could?
Oh and if the 3600 is the only card that fits... anyone know someone that wants a 1 yr old 4800 dollar m17x for a good price?
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Got the quadro fx 3600, put it in via tech support's instructions and when it powered on there was no screen at all(totally black). All other lights were blinking on case and keyboard, fan was spinning on video card, etc.
Tech had me turn off and back on and then it wouldn't power on at all, just totally dead.... Now it is a return to Alienware and I have to find some way to get my two Raid 0 harddisks information onto a PC... maybe via a dual disk enclosure, just not sure how to do that... Will be the next topic I post on the forum.